Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

The KEMRI Wellcome Trust Research Programme focuses on five key thematic areas: vaccines, pathogen biology, population health, clinical research and health systems. Their multidisciplinary approach informs policy and community needs. Impactful recent work spans COVID-19 response, malaria vaccines and clinical guidelines, with future plans addressing emerging global health challenges linked with climate change.

My name is Edwine Barasa. I am the Interim Executive Director of the KEMRI Wellcome Trust Research Programme. And in addition to that, I lead the health economics work within the programme.

The KEMRI Wellcome Trust Research Programme is a partnership between three partners. This is the University of Oxford, the Wellcome Trust in the UK, and the Kenya Medical Research Institute, KEMRI, which is a state corporation in Kenya with a mandate to carry out health research. We are physically located in East Africa with offices in Nairobi and Kilifi in Kenya and in Mbale in Uganda.

Our mission is to carry out high quality research in human health that is also purposeful and relevant and to develop research capacity within the African continent.

The KEMRI Wellcome Trust Research Programme focuses on five key thematic areas of research. These are vaccines, pathogen biology, population health, clinical research, and health systems and policy research. The way we approach our research work is to use a truly multidisciplinary approach, and we've also invested in engagement at both the policy level and the community level, to ensure that the research that we do is relevant and responsive to the needs of the community, and the needs of policy makers.

There are several examples of pieces of work that we've done that have been quite impactful in contributing to the development of global health. Examples that I can think about at the moment include the work that we did during the COVID-19 pandemic, that informed the Kenyan government's response to the pandemic and also supported other countries to do the same. Our research has also contributed to research on the two new malaria vaccines, which are going to be quite important tools in the containment of malaria in our part of the world. We've also done work that has informed the development and updating of clinical guidelines that are used to manage sick children in hospitals.

Our vision for the future is to continue to conduct relevant research that is responsive to emerging global health priorities. We are going to continue to do the work that we do, because it remains relevant. But we are also going to get into areas that are emerging, such as climate change and health.

This interview was recorded in January 2024

Edwine Barasa

Edwine Barasa, Professor of Health Economics and interim director for the KEMRI Wellcome Trust Research Programme in Kilifi, Kenya, tells us about the research done at the programme.

Translational Medicine

From bench to bedside

Ultimately, medical research must translate into improved treatments for patients. Our researchers collaborate to develop better health care, improved quality of life, and enhanced preventative measures for all patients. Our findings in the laboratory are translated into changes in clinical practice, from bench to bedside.